Though the number of daily deaths has fallen in the state, it is not in proportion to the drop in case tally. This is a cause of worry for the government. From June 1 to 26, 1,429 of 26,979 people infected with the virus died, pushing the deaths per million population to 533 against the national average of 294. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the virus has claimed 15,979 lives in the state.
Health department’s data reveals that the highest daily case fatality rate of 7.05% of the period was recorded on June 21, when 24 out of 340 persons infected with the virus lost their lives.
Comorbidity, late reporting key reasons for high death rate, says nodal officer
The fatality rate was 6.68% on June16, 5.91% on June 15, 5.72% on June 12, 5.24% on June 14 and 5.23% on June 24. Barring two days, the daily fatality rate was recorded above 4% during the 26-day period.
In the last seven days, 176 deaths were reported of — 18 from Jalandhar, 19 from Ferozepur, 15 from Sangrur, 11 from Mansa and 10 from Tarn Taran.
Punjab Covid-19 nodal officer Dr Rajesh Bhaskar maintained that there has been a drastic drop in fresh cases but the drop in the number of deaths has not been in the same proportion. He added that the reasons behind Covid fatality during the second wave and first wave remain the same. Comorbidity plus people reporting late to hospitals remain the key reasons for the high death rate, he said. The government is trying to spread awareness among people to seek treatment even if they experience mild symptoms.
Dr Rakesh Kumar Gupta, president of Strategic Institute for Public Health Education and Research (Sipher), held irrational self-medication, including taking steroids for Covid symptoms, as another possible reason for high death rate in the state. “Selfmedication leads to delayed access to healthcare, which can prove fatal,” he said.